Never underestimate the importance of accent lighting. The old, yellow, 60-watter you keep burning on your front porch at night to keep the bugs away isn’t doing your home’s image any favors.

It’s time to get your outdoor lighting in line with the 21st century. Let’s first take a look at some styles you want to avoid. If anything on the list matches what you have now, you’ll know that replacing it is a job you should move to the top of your to-do list.

  1. A bright light on top of a polecan actually make it harder to see than no light at all. This is because the light partially blinds you, and because any objects around the lamp cast shadows. These shadows can be havens for the criminal element to lurk in, unseen.

    Lamps like these also cause light pollution, possibly keeping you, your neighbors or critters awake at night. Have you ever been awakened by birds singing at 2 or 3 a.m.? One cause of this is an abundance of light pollution, coming from streetlights, commercial buildings and private residences.

  2. Lights shining toward your house can highlight your beautiful exterior, but they have to be placed correctly, otherwise, your house may end up looking scary, and then you won’t get any trick-or-treaters on Halloween. You want your façade to look soft and beautiful, or majestic and stately, but not ominous and spooky.

  3. Leaving lights on all nightis usually unnecessary — a waste of energy and money. A few strategically placed security lights are fine, or some lamps connected to motion sensors, but otherwise, let the night be dark.

Now you know what NOT to do, let’s take a look at what TO do.

  1. Silhouetting offers a dramatic effect that doesn’t waste too much energy. With this technique, lights are placed in key spots so that the front of your home is lit and the bushes and landscaping out front are silhouetted. Be careful not to leave your front yard too dark, however, or you could have a security risk on your hands.

  2. Metal and glass lighting fixtures really dress up a main entry door or portico. If you want to spend a little extra, get a large pendant for a really striking effect. Smaller fixtures installed in threes — one over the door and another on either side — bring style and needed light to your doorstep.

  3. Pole-top lanterns can be beautiful and functional if you have a walk out front that needs to be illuminated. Lanterns with metal tops are best because they direct the light downward, where you need it, unlike the torch effect you get with globe lighting.

If you don’t like what you see when you turn on your outdoor lights, call Renovation by Burbach. We can take a look at your home’s exterior and let you know what it needs to get it into shape for showing off.

If you need help with exterior remodeling, or if everything looks great and you just need expert advice selecting the right accent lighting, the professionals at Renovation by Burbach.